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Little Paul -

I've just found this advertised on rec.juggling - where it's obviously not going to get any viewers, so I thought I'd cross post it here:

hey guys,
Ive just built a new juggling community website:

I hope for it to become a place where we can share videos and news and basically anything juggling related.

It looks quite lively at the moment...

York Jugglers - - Parent

I didn't know juggling edge was "built using old technology" (according to jugglingforum's about page), seems to be just 34 links to videos on so far.

(could have used a spellchecker, minimilistic, tut)

Daniel Simu - - Parent

Well, php and html is relatively old, right?

I'll have a look, I hope for any online community to succeed, but have little hope...

Orinoco - - Parent

It is true, when I started building the Edge late 2011 I think the PC I had then was about 8 years old, & MS Notepad I was using then has been around since 1983.

Scott Seltzer - - Parent

In I asked if someone wants to write an article about the various online forums. I think there are some people here with a good knowledge of the history and current events related to this. I think it would be an enjoyable read and a great reference. Any volunteers?

lukeburrage - - Parent

In 2006 or 2007 I recorded a Juggling Podcast about what I would like from a juggling discussion site. As I remember, I pretty much described Tumblr before it existed, or kinda the modern state of social media today where people subscribe to other feeds and share things they like in their feed.

The thing is that I thought a juggling thing would be the site, and specific videos or discussions would be part of it. But in reality juggling is just one topic now on many different sites, like Facebook, blogs, Instagram, etc. When I want to discuss juggling, Facebook will always have more jugglers than any dedicated juggling forum like the Edge.

In the modern world, someone's most avid hobby isn't enough to make them not use generic social media by default.

Little Paul - - Parent

in reality juggling is just one topic now on many different sites, like Facebook, blogs, Instagram, etc

Spot on.

Although, I do wonder how different that really is to the early days. In the early-mid 90's usenet was the equivalent of facebook, it was a major social media platform of its day allowing people across the world to find like minded people, keep up to date with friends etc, rec.juggling was just one part of that larger whole.

That sort of got a bit lost in the late 90's/early 2K's with the explosion in the number of websites (caused largely by the dotcom boom lowering the barrier to entry for building/hosting your own site) and subject specific websites flourished.

Since the rise of "new" social media platforms, subject-specific sites are dwindling in their importance.

In related news, I think the days of the personal blog are gone as well now (and I say that as someone who was a voracious blogger in their time) - I've spent the last year trying to decide how best to kill mine.

I think it's going to go some time over the next couple of weeks and be replaced with a page that just points at the bits of the internet I'm active on.

lukeburrage - - Parent

While you are broadly correct about usenet in general, rec.juggling was a specific destination for many jugglers who never looked at the rest of usenet, or at least never once posted to another group.

I think this was because rec.juggling had specific portals via the biggest juggling websites.

For example, I read rec.juggling on and off for years before ever posting, because it was accessible (read-only) via the Juggling Information Service. It was only when there was easy signup via (I think) Deja News when I started participating, and then I worked out my own access via AOL or something later on.

Then with the IJDb, rec.juggling became the default discussion forum of the new biggest juggling website. While I know other interest websites had portals to their usenet group, rec.juggling probably had more people discussing there who didn't even know what usenet was (to them it was just part of the IJDb) than many/most other groups.

Scott Seltzer - - Parent

This is currently the only worthwhile forum I really follow and enjoy.

I check Object Episodes regularly, too, but there is very little activity. What there is, though, is generally high quality.

The facebook groups I've seen (primarily Rock and Home) and the new seem to be nearly only videos with brief comments and very rare quality discussions. I miss the thought out posts that we enjoyed when r.j was in its prime. And with fb, the content gets pushed down so quickly, there is no way to keep up. It's hard to know from all those videos which are really worthwhile, so at least we have eJuggle's Juggler's Scoop and Everyday Juggler's Highlight Reels to roundup the more quality videos. There are also individual jugglers' posts on fb that occasionally have discussions, but good ones are few and far between.

I don't know anything about instagram, tumblr, twitter, reddit, or others. Is there something there that I'm missing out on?

You mention blogs. What are some of the betters ones (for juggling, I mean)? I think that the only one I've been following recently is your (Luke's) vlogging. Perhaps eJuggle counts as a blog, and I do tend to read that ;-). Comments, though, are rare.

So, what else is there that you'd recommend? Is there something better that could be built or do I have to come to terms with the fact that times have changed and social media really serves the vast majority satisfactorily? Is there perhaps some different interface to fb that might be more compatible with what I like about r.j and more traditional forums?

Daniel Simu - - Parent

We all recognise the same problems with modern juggling community platforms... but why does there seem to be no solution to bring back the quality discussions, even with soooo many jugglers around nowadays?

You might be missing out instagram, but I'm not a user either. As far as I hear, it is used a lot by circus artists, perhaps more acrobats than jugglers.

Another blog that sometimes post quality juggling articles is the one from Thom Wall

Orinoco - - Parent

One of the biggest things I've learnt building the Edge is that the platform is spectacularly unimportant, which for a geek like me is a hard fact to accept. Look at that new site's about page, it doesn't mention the supposed subject of the site once, all it talks about is the various code libraries the site is built with. No one cares.

Communication on the web is easy, all that is needed is somewhere to save your content which can be accessed by others. Every platform that has ever been tried has provided this functionality. Yes design flaws are barriers but if people want to communicate they will overcome. Even the most perfect piece of community software will fail if no one has anything to say or the desire to say it.

Too many people are passive consumers of content addicted to their feed. People around me repeatedly check Facebook on their phone throughout the day because they are terrified of missing something interesting in their feed. I have the same psychological problem myself, I have a very addictive & compulsive personality, if I start something I find it very difficult to stop even long past the point I stopped having fun. When I used to play computer games I would make sure I achieved every upgrade & wiped out every enemy on the map even if there was a faster win scenario available. I do not own a smartphone to make sure I don't spend all my time reading on the web.

Facebook has done an excellent job of manipulating people into thinking that they must be plugged in all the time. Fear of loss is much stronger than desire to gain. Try this exercise: Log into FB or Twitter or whatever you use most. Scroll through your feed, keep a tally of all the posts that genuinely interest you & those that don't. Be honest. What percentage of the content interests you? Is that percentage a productive use of your time?

If you want more quality discussions then you need to make them. Turn off your computer & go & do something worth talking about. Go see a show tell us what you thought about it, how did it make you feel? What reactions did it invoke? How did it compare to other shows you've seen? Build something, document the build process, especially the failures. Do some historical research, document what you find & just as importantly how & where you found it.

It definitely feels like there is less discussion about juggling online these days. Your question Daniel about why that is so despite the number of jugglers is an interesting one. I think it is partly a sign of the times in that conversation is becoming a lost art. But I also wonder whether it is a symptom of the state of juggling nowadays. The average skill level of instant jugglers has rocketed over the past few years. The skills they are working on require many more hours of monotonous repetitive practice which is not perceived as interesting enough to talk about?

Marginally related, this is well worth 12 minutes of your time:

7b_wizard - - Parent

[answering the sidethread:] Juggling is adoing. You don't necessarily need to think about it, don't need to word what you do, thus many just do it and if communicate then in real life face to face, showing, using words like "look at this, watch how I do it".
For me, there's much more to it - I like to understand in deep and in detail, know about what my brain, hands, automatisms an' stuff are doing every millisecond, seeking highest possible level of control.

Even when an interesting view or topic is up, there's often few to disagree on, as we all want the same fun and improve some, do cool stuff.

But there's always a lot of options and possibilities like on how to go on from this groundstate or trick or pattern, a great variety to discover - but you can only work on one thing at a time, so prospects on what all there is other to discover sand out in futility. Many just don't invest so much time into juggling and those who do also focus on doing rather than talking about.

If we want content, there's no way around posting it (instead expecting some this or that shaped platform to provide it for us to consume).

But I'm not sure, that was only a brainstorm lol.

7b_wizard - - Parent

See also, hot vivid juggling content threads, [ x-cross{Edge}-cross{reddit}-post ]

pumpkineater23 - - Parent

It seems as if social media has caused people to not be 100% where they are. We now leave bits of ourselves in different places. This makes conversation harder I think. The example of the facebook 'checker' - I actually know someone that lives more for facebook than actual reality, like an imaginary audience syndrome. Being very late to social media/smartphones etc it was frustrating watching something gradually being lost in the people around me, a bit like The Body Snatchers, except it's our minds.

lukeburrage - - Parent

Wow, you guys are really down on social media! It's actually pretty cool.

el_grimley - - Parent

I think it really depends on the contributor, observer and the service.

My view is that people, like you, who are nett contributors to social media, who are mostly interested in what they are creating, and have an interested audience, are likely to get a lot out of it. However those who are creators but simply for the purpose of audience and have little or no audience could find it particularly disheartening experience. Also if they are posting particularly distasteful political views they may be excluded from some social media platforms and move to others which only share their own world views, which can only lead to bad things.

Users who mainly observe may also experience some negatives of social media but again it really depends on the individual. I've met a LOT of people who constantly check their phone to see what things others are doing. Let's face it people generally post the more fun aspects of their lives and so with x number of contacts on social media someone is always going to be doing something cooler. Which leads to either people not taking part in the moment they are in or feeling down that they aren't off doing something cool. Personally I take the approach of checking social media and email as task to be undertaken rather than a quick looksee. This works for me but will not suit everyone and has left me in the pub on the odd occasion with people all on their phones. From this I have discovered who is more fun to be a the pub with and that I am not able to lick my own elbow.

On the services themselves; almost by definition you trade a lot of personal information in exchange for the platform you are using. Some people are cool with trading in loads and others less so.

Orinoco - - Parent

Have you tried the other elbow?

Daniel Simu - - Parent

Thanks for your thoughts. Yeah, that about page was terrible!

Scott Seltzer - - Parent

Try this exercise: Log into FB or Twitter or whatever you use most. Scroll through your feed, keep a tally of all the posts that genuinely interest you & those that don't. Be honest. What percentage of the content interests you? Is that percentage a productive use of your time?

Yes, that is my problem. I hope that fb will come up with an algorithm to weed out what I don't want. Maurizio has kindly done it for me here:

Should there be a fb group for juggling talk (no video postings)? Would that even work? Is it necessary or do people prefer to be in the big ones that have mostly videos but also allow for discussions?

Daniel Simu - - Parent

Juggling home was an interesting group for me in the first months... People were highly motivated to make a fun group without the trash/overflow from JugglingRock, the group was smaller so you'd recognise the posters, Peter Bone would make an effort to answer all questions...

Anyway, if anyone starts a non-video group on fb, I'd join and try to participate

lukeburrage - - Parent

I've seen them as interchangeable for a while now, though there is a different set of people chatting in each. However, when Juggling Home first began I was asked by some people who used it (and/or were kicked out of Juggling Rock) to also post my combat news and videos and other things to Juggling Home too, so people there didn't miss out.

Theoretically I'd also join and enjoy a Facebook group with no videos, but I can't help but think most people would see it as unbearably smug or stuck up. Remember this forum is called Small Talk? What happened to Big Talk?

lukeburrage - - Parent

I think you might be approaching this from the wrong direction. How about this:

Juggling is a physical, practical, and visual pursuit. By default, the best way to communicate an idea in juggling is to SHOW it. Which means that now, in the world of hugely popular video sharing forums like JugglingRock, Juggling Home, Facebook in general, and Instagram, there is more communication of juggling ideas and skills than ever before.

We are in a golden age of juggling communication!

BEFORE juggling videos were so easy to make and share, jugglers had to communicate by putting their juggling concepts into words, and then writing those words down, and hoping other people would find those words interesting enough to translate into something they could try them, or at least be able to visualise enough to understand and appreciate.

While those of us on this forum grew up in that textual world were comfortable with it, the ideas that are being shared now are far beyond what was shared before. Being able to quickly and easily make a video is far more accessible than writing.

I've noticed that skills and techniques are being shared now, and becoming super popular, that have no names. Wes Peden will invent a whole new style or concept like bouncing a ball off a different body part, and without using any language it is picked up by other jugglers. They develop it further and show other people either in person or, more likely, in their video, and it grows from there.

We used to have to communicate patterns with siteswap and other notation. While it's still handy to say "throw a 7 then a 5" in some cases, the more natural way is to see it on video. Siteswap is becoming less and less important, and this frees up jugglers to learn and share tricks that don't fit into the restrictions that make siteswap so powerfully simple.

Of course there are many areas that would be more suited to long-form written discussion, but those are either business/practical subjects like performing or being a professional, or academic subjects like the history of juggling. But when juggling for the sake of juggling, videos will win out.

On the other hand, I've had plenty of discussions about juggling recently on Facebook. But they were private discussions on Facebook Messenger. The good thing about Facebook is that it gives everyone the same access to the most popular jugglers. If someone wants to message Wes Peden or Jay Gilligan or me or anyone, we're just a friend request away. As long as someone looks like a juggler, I'll accept a friend request. I've chatted with people all over the world about juggling and combat and performing and all sorts. Why does it have to be in public? If I'm repeating myself, I just write about a topic on my blog and link to it again later.

With my new vlogging project, I'm still seeing how it will develop, but I'd like to see if I can find a form that suits me so I can talk more in depth about specific juggling topics such as performing or choreography and being a professional or training. Things which it's possible to see in non-verbal videos, but make a lot more sense just said out loud.

I noticed Wes Peden's bonus tricks PX4 video was similar, in a way. He talked about what tricks got into the main video and what didn't, and it became much clearer how he thinks about juggling videos and trick selection and all kinds of things. If you know what to look for it would be possible to see those things in the main video, but him just saying it in another video was far clearer.

Was it better for Wes to put that in a video? Should he have posted it to a blog? To a forum? I'm not sure that would have been better.

Anyway, those of us who like writing were always in the minority in the juggling world, but because the internet was so bad for videos, we were the majority of jugglers communicating online.

Now video is more easy than writing, we feel like we are in the minority for the first time. But it's not the first time, it's just that the internet now reflects the juggling world more accurately.

Orinoco - - Parent

Over the past few months I've definitely shifted to watching & enjoying a lot more video content. Finally getting broadband has been a big help obviously but I think the quality of internet videos has increased significantly.

Every Frame a Painting has come up a couple of times on the Edge before & I've been enjoying stuff from CGP Grey & Nerdwriter. All these are examples of 'video essays' a term I discovered after watching this video at the beginning of the year:

I can now see a future where video could supplant text as my medium of choice.

lukeburrage - - Parent

For a long time video makers seemed to want to show off the visual content more than the "text". This led to many videos with very low information density. Start with themes, titles, etc. Show montages set to music. Long transitions between scenes. All that kind of thing.

Due to the massive oversupply of videos now, video makers publishing on YouTube have realised they have to make their videos super dense.

The most simple way of doing this is to film a single shot of yourself talking, and then cut out all the gaps and ums and erms and errors, in the style of the Vlog Brothers and pretty much everyone else since. It's very effective! If a bit artless.

This video essay style is another way. Have a narrator ALWAYS speaking, and show as many quick cut shots on screen to show examples and, in between points made visually, to keep up the energy.

Personally I still enjoy reading long form news and blog posts and all that, but most of my popular science input now comes from YouTube videos.

The Void - - Parent

The God Emperor has broadband? It must be 2016.

Little Paul - - Parent

Well something good had to come out of 2016 eventually

Daniel Simu - - Parent

I liked Wes' bonus video much better than the PX4 video which it was about. Could it have been in blog format? Probably not. I guess I'll just have to wait until all youtube videos are auto transcribed at a high quality so that all of the internet's videos become properly searchable!

Same goes for private chats. I have and had many interesting conversations, both on facebook and in person, with jugglers. I'm sad that I can't search through those of others..
This is one of the reasons why I'm starting JuggleJabber, I've met so many interesting jugglers in the past and if anyone else is a bit like me, I'm sure they would have loved to listen to those conversations! Even I want to relisted to them, and through this podcast I now have the ability!
But private conversations of others remain inaccessible, unstructured, unpublished.

I agree that there is a lot of communication going on through videos and that this is a good thing!

lukeburrage - - Parent

One reason I started the Juggling Podcasts years ago was the same. I kept having interesting conversations with jugglers and thought other people would like to join in! I also had an interview with Viktor Kee coming up, for the Kaskade Magazine, and knew we would cover way more than would fit in the article.

mtb - - Parent

This was a great comment, thanks.

The increase in videos is something positive, even if most of them are like mine, and pretty uninspired.

I wonder if there is a general increase in short one-trick things, which is probably how it was in the early days, where you would have a .gif of a simple trick, given the need to get people's time in small bites.

Mike Moore - - Parent

I reluctantly got instagram recently to follow some really good juggling that only gets posted there. I've found it very worthwhile so far, and have been selective with who I follow. Mostly because I don't like that medium, so if someone always reposts their instagram videos on Facebook, I'll watch them on Facebook exclusively.

I've never found tumblr or twitter useful for juggling. I enjoy reddit's juggling subreddit quite a lot.


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